Here are two of my favourite classics celebrated in one image. A tribute to the late legendary activist, musician, poet and author, Gil Scott-Heron and from the same era, the typeface ITC Avant Garde Gothic.
The Revolution Will Not Be Televised
From the album Pieces of a Man, Gil Scott-Heron, 1971.
Released in 1971 “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” is a poem and song by Gil Scott Heron, political activist, poet, musician and author. Known primarily for his spoken word performances in the 70s and 80s where his biting lyrics spoke about politics and culture, the Vietnam war, drugs and alcohol abuse in the urban cities and racial injustice. Considered by many as the “Godfather of Hip-hop” and the “black Bob Dylan” as the list of artists that he has influenced is much broader than rap – and music. His albums Pieces of a Man (1971) and Winter in America (1974) are regarded as the forerunners of both conscious neo-soul and conscious Hip Hop.
ITC Avant Garde Gothic
International Typeface Corporation, Herb Lubalin, Tom Carnase, Edward Benguiat, 1970-77.
Avant Garde Gothic is a font family originally designed for the culture magazine of the same name in the mid 60s. New York graphic designer Herb Lubalin created the original logo for the magazine title, which had modernist, geometric forms that rested each letter against each other, considered by many at the time to be awkward and rule-breaking. Although the magazine had only 16 issues, in 1970 the typeface was it was redrawn and published as a fully fledged typeface by the International Typeface Corporation (ITC).
Over the next few years a complex lower-case was added with various ligatures by Tom Carnese, a serif version (Lubalin Graph), and a condensed version, by one of my favourite type designers, Edward Benguiat. Today it is still very popular and sits amongst the elite of contemporary typefaces used for graphic design and advertising.